Posted on: January 4, 2010

CANTON—(January 4, 2010)—The Sisters of Charity Health System (SCHS) and University Hospitals (UH) today announced the finalization of an agreement to restructure the two joint ventures that originated in 1999.   This transaction was completed on December 31, 2009. In March 2009, both health systems acknowledged the need to change the joint ventures to better serve the needs of the community and that greater effectiveness in operations would be critical to the success of the Catholic hospitals’ ministries in today’s economic environment.

“At the forefront of this restructuring was how we could best serve the health care needs of these three communities – Canton, Cleveland and Westlake, said Sr. Judith Ann Karam, CSA, president and CEO of SCHS. We have been serving the health care needs of Greater Canton for more than 100 years and have built an outstanding hospital with exceptional services and medical expertise.”

Completion of the restructuring returns Mercy Medical Center in Canton and St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland to sole ownership by SCHS. SCHS solely owns four hospitals – St. Vincent Charity Hospital, Mercy Medical Center and two hospitals in South Carolina – all united in one mission to continue the healing ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. In addition, the 50 -50 joint venture of both systems will continue at St. John West Shore Hospital in Westlake, with both health systems equally represented at the governance level.

“We value our long-standing relationship with the Sisters of Charity Health System and believe that this new structure will provide extraordinary opportunities for growth and expansion as well as greater access to the highest quality of care provided anywhere in the country,” said Thomas F. Zenty, III, CEO of University Hospitals.

The hospitals will have separate Federal 501 C3 non profit status and retain their Catholic mission, identity and faith obligations as they serve the ongoing health care needs of their communities. In addition, hospital leadership will remain under current hospital presidents: Cliff Coker at St. John West Shore Hospital; Thomas Cecconi at Mercy Medical Center; and Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA at St. Vincent Charity Hospital.              

“Mercy Medical Center continues to combine the best of compassionate care with high-tech innovation” said Thomas Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. “Currently, the hospital has plans for capital projects in excess of $80 million to continue its excellence in medical services. Mercy has long been a leader in emergency services, cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and rehabilitation, and has recently added innovative robotic surgical equipment to its full complement of modern heath care services.”

“We are pleased to continue providing Catholic health care to the Greater Canton and Cleveland communities, continuing our 158-year legacy of healing individuals, families and communities.” said Karam.

“We are proud of the many accomplishments of our sponsored ministries in Stark County, including the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, Early Childhood Resource Center and the clinical excellence of Mercy Medical Center,” Karam said. “The Sisters of Charity Health System continues to be committed to Stark County as evidenced by the $34.6 million we have invested through our Foundation since its inception. It is our intention to build upon the capital investments at Mercy Medical Center and the Foundation’s support of the community, to continue to strengthen our impact in Stark County.

About the Sisters of Charity Health System

The Sisters of Charity Health System was established in 1982 as the parent corporation for the sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine in Ohio and South Carolina.

The Sisters of Charity Health System is the sole sponsor of St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio; Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio; Providence Hospitals, , which includes Providence Hospital/Providence Heart Institute and Providence Hospital Northeast in Columbia, South Carolina.

In 2009, the Sisters of Charity Health System formed a new joint venture with University Hospitals to equally own St. John West Shore Hospital which includes West Shore Primary Care. Through this equal ownership, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine continue their legacy of high quality, compassionate care that began at the time of the founding of this Hospital.

The organization also oversees three grant making foundations located in Cleveland and Canton, OH and Columbia, SC. Each foundation sponsors significant community initiatives and collaborations that address causes and consequences of poverty.

Other health and human services and education-related organizations within the Sisters of Charity Health System include Cleveland’s Joseph’s Home, a unique residential care center for homeless men, Canton’s early Childhood Resource Center for people working in childcare in all settings; and Healthy Learners, a South Carolina health care resource for children from low-income families. The Sisters of Charity Health System also provides residential eldercare services at Regina Health Center in Richfield, Ohio and Light of Hearts Villa in Bedford, Ohio. Light of Hearts Villa is jointly sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

For more information on the Sisters of Charity Health System or its individual health care and outreach ministries, visit

About University Hospitals

With 200 locations throughout Northeast Ohio, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians.  At the core of our Health System is University Hospitals Case Medical Center.  The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top hospitals in the nation; MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and Ireland Cancer Center, which holds the nation’s highest designation by the National Cancer Institute of Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to

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